County Under 16 'A' Hurling Final
Durlas Óg won their 13th County Under 16 ‘A’ hurling title following a four points win over Nenagh Eire Óg in a thrilling final at Roscrea on Saturday. This game was an excellent advertisement for underage hurling in the county and the displays of both well coached and skillful teams gave the good sized attendance tremendous entertainment with the result in doubt right up to the full time whistle.
Durlas Óg started in whirlwind fashion and were leading by seven points at the end of the first quarter. It took Eire Óg a long time to get to grips with this game but they came more into the match in the second quarter and they had reduced the deficit to four points at half time. The second half was end to end stuff with both teams scoring some delightful points. Durlas Óg never lost their lead with Eire Óg reducing the deficit to one point on six occasions during the half but they were unable to get on level terms. Durlas Óg finished strongly scoring three points without reply in the closing minutes to bring the title back to Thurles.
The opening quarter was all Durlas Óg and in particular wing forward, Conor Lanigan who scored 1-3. Lanigan opened the scoring with a point in the first minute and then in the 5th minute following a pass from Cathal Ryan he blasted past Daire Gleeson in the Nenagh goals. He added two further points and Dylan Bourke (free) and Aidan Doyle also had points with Adam Grattan pointing for Nenagh to give Durlas Óg a 1-5 to 0-1 advantage. Eire Óg gradually got into their stride and some positional switches in their defence gave them a better balance and they upped their game. They outscored their opponents by 1-4 to 0-4 in the second quarter. The crucial score was a Nenagh goal in the 23rd minute when Shane Hennessy’s strike from 35 metres deceived Tom Meehan in the Durlas Óg goals and finished in the net. Durlas Óg had points from Dylan Bourke, Padraic Phelan, Stephen Cahill and Graham Maher with Killian Gleeson (2) and Barry Heffernan (2 frees) replying for Eire Óg to leave the half time score Durlas Óg 1-9 Eire Óg 1-5.
Nenagh Eire Óg opened impressively in the second half and points from Barry Heffernan (2) and James Mackey (free) left the minimum between the teams by the 35th minute. Padraic Phelan replied with a Durlas Óg point. It was now end to end stuff with Barry Heffernan (free), Killian Gleeson, James Mackey and Brendan O’Brien scoring Eire Óg points with Dylan Bourke who was very accurate from placed balls keeping Durlas Ó g in touch with two pointed frees and a ‘65’ to leave his side leading by 1-13 to 1-12 after 50 minutes. The stage was now set for a grandstand finish with both teams giving it everything to secure victory. The point scoring continued. Conor Lanigan who was exceptional in the first half scored two points, one from a very difficult angle, and Padraic Phelan was also on target for Durlas Óg. Eire Óg replied through Brendan O’Brien, Barry Heffernan (free) and Donnacha Quinn who had moved from full back to full forward. Quinn’s effort was only inched over the crossbar. Durlas Óg still held a one point (1-16 to 1-15) advantage and we had two minutes remaining. Eire Óg went in search of the equalizer but Durlas Óg stood up to the test and they won a free on the half way line close to the sideline. Dylan Bourke stepped up to the free and he drove straight between the posts. Substitute David Fogarty added another and victory was secured when Kevin Dunne blasted over the bar with only the goalie to beat in the first minute of injury time. The final whistle sounded to end a memorable contest.
Durlas Óg who are the kingpins of under 16 hurling in the county in recent years and Saturday’s win was their sixth since 2002. All their players from goalie, Tom Meehan to corner forward Aidan Doyle and substitute David Fogarty contributed to this victory. They scored 1-14 of their total from play with eight players getting their names on the scoresheet. Ronan Maher was commanding at centre back while Caley Maher and Aidan Ryan were always prominent in defence. Stephen Cahill and Kevin Dunne had their moments at midfield. Conor Lanigan who got some exceptional scorers was their top marksman with 1-5 while Dylan Bourke’s accuracy from placed ball was crucial. Padraic Phelan had a great last quarter.
Nenagh Eire Óg are a very young team with only four of their starting lineup overage for next year. They had many notable performances especially Donnacha Quinn, Michael Collins and Niall Kennedy in defence. Barry Heffernan and Killian Gleeson were very influential at midfield while James Mackey, Shane Hennessy and Brendan O’Brien were always prominent in attack.
Teams and scorers:
Durlas Óg : Tom Meehan; Caley Maher, Jack Lineen, Peter Coman; Aidan Ryan, Ronan Maher, Sean Wade; Kevin Dunne (0-1), Stephen Cahill (0-1); Conor Lanigan (1-5), Padraic Phelan (0-3), Dylan Bourke (0-6); Cathal Ryan, Graham Maher (0-1), Aidan Doyle (0-1). Sub: David Fogarty (0-1).
Nenagh Eire Óg : Daire Gleeson; Aodhan Geaney, Donnacha Quinn (0-1), Gerard O’Gorman; Michael Collins, Niall Kennedy, Andrew Coffey; Barry Heffernan (0-6), Killian Gleeson (0-3); Paul O’Leary, Adam Grattan (0-1), James Mackey (0-2); Shane Hennessy (1-0), Brendan O’Brien (0-2), Paul Browne. Subs: John Cahalan, Jack Nolan.
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla/Donaskeigh Kickhams).
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